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Cartoon Culture

Margaret Groening, Inspiration for Marge Simpson, Dies at 94

Margaret Groening, the mother of Simpsons creator Matt Groening, died in her sleep on April 22 at age 94, as reported in an obituary in The Oregonian.

Born Margaret Ruth Wiggum, to Norwegian-born parents in Everett, Washington, she went on to become high school valedictorian, May Queen of Linfield College and a high school English teacher. Her late husband, Homer Groening, whom she met in school and she “chose because he made her laugh the most,” passed away in 1996.

A spokesperson for The Simpsons confirmed the obituary in the LA Times and said that her son had declined any public comment. She is survived by her brother Arnold; her children, Mark, Matt, Lisa and Maggie; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Further confirmed by the obituary, Groening famously used names from his own family when creating Simpsons characters, with the exception of the name Bart, which is an anagram for “brat”.

  • Roberto Severino

    R.I.P. Matt Groening’s mother! She was so much of an inspiration that Matt decided to name a whole bunch of The Simpsons characters after his family members. She lived quite a long time too.

  • Seni

    I had no idea that the majority of Simpson characters were named after people Matt knew.

    Rest in peace, Matt Groening’s mom.

  • Marbles471

    Wow. He had his mother for a very long time. Best to the family.

  • manny

    this feels like stalking, but i guess it is interesting looking at all the common names of the cartoon world and a scan of a newspaper

  • Crystal

    So sad, but I’m still impressed with people who live into their 90s. It’s amazing that she was aware of her pressence in the show for over 25 years.

    Interestingly enough, she looks quite a bit like Julie Kavner in the photo. Rest in Peace Margaret Groening . . .